Have you got a fear of flying but still feel comfortable jumping in the car everyday? Maybe you should reconsider your safety…
I know a great number of people, especially in the older generation, have a fear of flying and although I don’t suffer from it myself, I can well understand that it can be a little traumatic for some, feeling they are in an element for which we are not built!
You know what I mean – the old jokes that go around about, “If God had wanted me to fly, he’d have given me wings,” and other such witticisms. But if you stop for a moment and think about it, the same joke could apply to cars, “he’d have given me wheels and an eight cylinder engine!” swimming, “he’d have given me gills!” and jokes that could be made about many other activities which we take for granted.
Many people don’t like flying because they think it is inherently dangerous, mainly I would suggest, because when a three hundred seater Boeing 747 hits the ground at a rate of knots there are rarely, if ever, any survivors and is an occurrence that unfailingly results in massive publicity and ‘scare’ stories.
But in actual fact, the number of deaths from air crashes are stunningly low, especially when you stop, and take into account the literally millions of miles flown by commercial aircraft every single day. I can’t recall the actual figures but I do know the chance of you being killed flying in any of the major airline company’s planes is nineteen point eight million to one – pretty good odds I would say!
Planes, especially modern ones, are by far the safest means of travel ever invented, with every system within the aircraft double or even treble backed-up, so if one system fails there are others ready to take over, most of them automatic, and with all parts used in the manufacture made of the finest materials and then tested to destruction before being included, just to be on the safe side.
Even before a new aircraft comes off the drawing board, computers extrapolate what is going to happen in various conditions, so that any possible flaws detectable at that stage can be corrected. Then, during actual manufacture, everything is checked and checked again, both manually and electronically, followed by many flying hours as a test facility, putting the plane through most of the emergencies it is liable to meet in service, to see how it handles the situation.
There is no denying that planes do crash occasionally, to heavy publicity, as mentioned above, but they really are extremely safe means of transport, which, if you take the trouble to stop and think about it, is something that cannot be said about cars!
For a start planes don’t have to fly towards each other, at the same height, missing each other by no more than a couple of metres! Planes have to be flown by highly trained experts, people who need years of experience and training, before they are allowed to control a commercial aircraft, whereas apart from a simple driving test, any idiot can get into a car and hurtle off down the road in it, with little or no skill or experience.
No pilot is allowed to fly within eight hours of consuming ANY alcohol at all – motorists are only expected to drink in moderation before getting behind the wheel.
Remember the nineteen point eight million to one against chances of being killed in an air crash? In a car the figure is reduced to about one hundred to one! It’s just that car crashes happen as hundreds of small incidents spread out all over the country, whereas a plane crashing is a single BIG occurrence.
As an amateur pilot myself, I’ll stick to travelling by air any time – there are too many idiots hurtling about the place down here for me to feel safe!
Do you enjoy flying or would you rather stay on the ground??